Thursday, 20 October 2016

A Sound Stroke

What constitutes a sound stroke for a right-handed player? Bobby Jones had the following to say about it in his book Bobby Jones on Golf:

    "In a sound golf stroke, the back of the left hand is visible at the instant of impact to an observer standing in front of the player. It is important that this hand should drive straight through the impact position in an effort to direct the head of the club precisely along the line of play. The turning action, which begins to take place an appreciable space after contact, does so then because the player's muscles relax after the effort of hitting, and because his swing has then reached the limit of motion it can accommodate along the line of flight."

That is why I called my blog Top Hand Golf. In a sound swing, the top hand pulls the club down the target line, the back of that hand facing the target through impact. All good players do this whether they are aware of it or not. The correct stroke is a backhanded action with the left hand. Bobby also wrote:

    "The correct stroke causes the club head to approach the ball from inside the line of play. The factors making this possible are the forward shift of the hips during the downstroke, maintaining a bend in the right arm that keeps the right elbow close to the side of the body, and the backhand nature of the stroke dominated by a strong pull from the left side. These are the factors that make it necessary or inevitable that at the instant of impact the hands should be on a line with, or ahead, of the club head, and that the left hand should carry through the ball without beginning to turn."

If you are having trouble with slicing or hooking the ball, or you are just unhappy with the consistency of your ballstriking, look to your left hand. Keep the back of that top hand driving straight down the target line.  As Lee Trevino also taught, where the back of the left hand goes is where the club face goes. And Byron Nelson had the back of his left hand driving down the target line as his primary swing thought during his magic year in 1945 when he won eighteen times, including eleven in a row. Once he discovered the importance of the top hand, he never looked back.